ALMOST double the number of pedestrians are injured in crashes from October to January as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease.
That’s why on Thursday, ICBC launched a pedestrian safety campaign with police and TransLink to urge pedestrians and drivers to stay safe as crashes with pedestrians spike at this time of year.
Pedestrian safety is a serious concern in B.C. – they’re the most vulnerable road user to be injured when a crash occurs. Drivers should take extra time to look for pedestrians before turning especially near transit stops, avoid distractions and be ready to yield, advises ICBC.
Pedestrians can help stay safe by making eye contact, watching for drivers turning left or right at intersections, and using designated crosswalks.
ICBC, TransLink and community policing volunteers will be handing out reflectors and safety tips in high pedestrian traffic areas across the province to help pedestrians stay visible.
This year’s campaign features online advertising that reminds drivers: you see pedestrians when you really look for them.
Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee, said: “This is the time of year when police see an increasing number of crashes involving pedestrians. We all have a part to play to make our streets safer. Drivers should know that distracted driving and failing to stop for people walking at intersections are some of the top factors in crashes with pedestrians. Pedestrians also need to be careful and aware. We encourage them to take out their headphones and take a break from the phone when crossing the road. Reflective gear, particularly on anything moving such as arms and legs, helps pedestrians be far more visible to drivers.”
Derek Stewart, TransLink Director of Safety and Emergency Management, advised: “Everyone needs to be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially at this time of year when daylight hours are decreasing and weather conditions are changing. Pedestrians should never assume that they can be seen, even when using a crosswalk. Step out onto the street only when there’s certainty that it’s safe to do so. It’s vital that we all work together to avoid accidents or injuries involving pedestrians.”
Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s Vice-President of Public Affairs and Driver Licensing, said: “Even when drivers proceed with caution, it’s hard to see pedestrians at this time of year when visibility is poor. Crashes with pedestrians are highest between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. every day, when most of us are commuting home from school and work. Please focus on the road and leave your phone alone. It’s time we all do our part to create a safer driving culture in B.C.”